Sunday, February 22, 2015

Can An Old Runner Learn A New Watch?

Just a few days ago I was living in fear and terror.

A category 5 cyclone had formed up north and was heading with huge destructive winds and tons of rain. It was due to hit the coast on Friday and we didn't know exactly where Or how much damage it would create. Or if the Saturday's run would be cancelled.

That's what was really worrying me. Because I'm a runner. And because my week's sanity relies on a good weekend run. Preferably two.

And this weekend I was even more invested in the run than usual. Not because I needed more 'therapy'.  But because I had just bought a new running watch.

My old Garmin 405 had been on its last legs for months. The watch was still going okay but the ANT agent had died, the heart rate monitor had died and the watch band was on its way out and was held together with strapping tape. My plan was to keep it limping along to my birthday in a month's time and ask for a new one.

But then our own little cyclone Ricky struck.

He managed to get the watch off the computer tower that's sitting on the desk and gnaw the band off. No worries, I thought. I'd be able to just carry it in my pouch on my runs for the couple of weeks till my birthday. So I tried that on Thursday and found out that GPS watches actually need to be able to see the satellites to work - or else I really did run a 7 minute kilometre.

When I went to the shops on Friday I really didn't intend to buy a new watch. I was going to buy a couple of torches just in case we lost power in all the bad weather. But something lured me into Rebel Sports and all of a sudden I had the new watch in my hot little hands. But then came the hard parts, explaining what I'd done to my husband and answering the question that has stumped scholars since time immemorial - can an old runner learn a new watch?

My husband's reaction was only a little dismay. "Now I'm going to have to think of something else to get you for your birthday!"

I assured him that that wasn't necessary. But I'm a woman. I reserve the right to change my mind about that.

The watch-learning thing was, as I expected, a lot more challenging. I had to call on the expertise of my youngest son to help with all the computer stuff because Garmin have updated all of their software in the 6 years since I bought my first watch and some of the software wouldn't download through Chrome and Explorer kept crapping out on me so we had to go the whole Mozilla route. Why oh why is technology so complicated?!!

So after getting the watch and the computer all set up. I didn't want a little thing like a category 5 cyclone stop me from taking my Precious on its inaugural run.

Just a little side-note here. We were never actually in the path of the cyclone. It was a few hundred kilometres up north and we were only going to get lots and lots of rain. So I'm not a totally obsessed running-nutter. Even I draw the line at running in a cyclone.

There was a few begging texts to Coach Chris. A bit along the line of please, please, please don't cancel. He wouldn't commit either way because he is not God and can't know what the weather's going to do. I'd pretty much decided that I would run regardless but really wanted the group to run with. Because a group of masochists have way more fun than a single.

So I went to bed Friday night with my gear out and a steely determination to get 20k in. A bit of rain wasn't going to stop me. And when I woke on Saturday in the dark with the rain pattering outside it was all I could do not to jump back into bed - until I remembered the begging texts and decided I couldn't face the shame of piking out.

The run went well. I managed to get my watch to start and stop and record stuff in between the starting and stopping. There was only one moment where I thought I'd stuffed it up - when I wiped rain off the touchscreen and managed to change the screen. But I worked out how to get back to the screen I wanted so I've officially given myself a high distinction for watch-learning. And I guess that answers the question - yes, an old runner can learn a new watch.

And for those of you who only come to my blog to look at the cute puppy pictures, here is my gift to you. A story of lust and how dark desires will drive even the most innocent to commit crime.


  1. WooHoo!! Love that you got a new Garmin and now get to pick out a new birthday gift!!!
    That puppy - I'm thinking that you might need to get a few new pairs of running shoes and keep them put up high just in case!!!

  2. Your Coach must be soft... how can he even think of cancelling a run. I've had morning runs in sleet and hail, and on the weekends I hope that cold front is bringing snow to the mountain...

    So good on you for wanting to get out and run.

    Just one question, why didn't you sqeeze a couple of km in in the evening after buying the watch?

  3. He's very naughty isn't he. This running is a very addictive thing isn't it? It must be the endorphins. I get the same high when I eat really hot chilli. I'll just stick to that I think. So what do you think you'll ask for for your birthday?

    1. A trip and entry into the New York marathon? Or chocolate.

  4. But what an adorable rascal Ricky is!

    What's the new watch? I haven't even looked at my Garmin since last September, let alone connected it to my computer, in which time I hear they've completely changed the software - oh dear.

    So how many people turned up for that run in the end?

    1. It's a 610 Grace. And there was probably about 20 runners - but don't quote me on that.

  5. I use more than one software app to log my runs so I dread a new watch. For some reason there is always something that doesn't just work out the box. But we will never be to old to learn a new watch...

  6. Really, this is one of my fears, should my old 305 ever die. I don't use it enough to learn it well quickly (I still don't know all the functions of the 305, and it's pretty basic). Maybe I can have you teach me.

  7. Well done. I only ever use my Garmin to track time and distance and I know it does lots of other clever things which I just haven't figured out yet.

  8. How cool is your new watch! Congrats! Glad you are all safe with the storms.

  9. Well done - but this is exactly what I'm dreading when my old Garmin eventually poops out...the battery is sketchy as it is, but I'm too scared to upgrade. Thank goodness for grown tech savvy sons to help us out!

  10. If my Garmin doesn't work anymore: I buy a new one but it has to be easy to use. I'm no techno wizard either :) I have been ignoring the new Garmin connect website for months and was still looking at the old site for my stats. Because it looked so different and I couldn't find things :) But I finally had the courage to try it and now finally using it.

    Oh Ricky, you are so cute. Those last photo's are priceless.

  11. The idea of running for 2hrs straight is completely beyond me!!! Good luck with the new watch!

  12. This post was so funny Char! "My precious" watch?! Love it! I have the 405 now. It's actually my 2nd. I guess I was worried that this old runner couldn't learn a new watch! Maybe I'll give it a go next time! Sounds like you like yours!

  13. Enjoy your new watch! Good Luck!


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